TROPHYCATCH: REWARDS ANGLERS FOR CATCHING TROPHY BASS
Many of us dream of landing a Florida trophy bass and setting a new personal best! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program provides great rewards while commemorating anglers’ accomplishments. As a result, TrophyCatch turns anglers into citizen-scientists by having them catch-document-and-release Florida’s largemouth bass weighing eight pounds and heavier. The TrophyCatch rewards come from conservation partners like Bass Pro Shops who provide prizing directly to anglers with approved catches.
The first step towards winning is to simply register for the program at TrophyCatch.com. Each registration ensures one entry into the random drawing to win the Phoenix Boats 819 Pro bass boat powered by Mercury Marine, guided by Lowrance, and anchored by Power- Pole. Anglers with approved catches receive 10 additional entries into the random drawing increasing the chances to win!
It’s simple to participate just take a scale and a camera whenever you go bass fishing, to be ready to document your trophy-sized catch. Each submitted catch must be captured by photograph or video with the entire bass on a scale with a readable weight (see TrophyCatchFlorida. com/Rules for participation details). Keep in mind that catch-and-release is at the core of the program, meaning that bass must be livereleased to qualify for prizing.
Because of this, TrophyCatch repeatedly documents the successful release and subsequent recatch of some of these trophy bass. This has proven both the effectiveness of catch-andrelease techniques, and the importance of recycling these valuable fish to allow other anglers to experience a once-in-a-lifetime catch. Fish handling guidelines as well as submission tips are provided at the complementary TrophyCare page (Trophycatchflorida.com/TrophyCare).
If you’re having a tough time deciding where to stay in Florida, then visit the TrophyCatch. com/GalleryofCatches to see where the latest approved catches are being caught. Then you’ll know where to wet your line!
TrophyCatch has the best of the fishing industry as conservation partners, like Bass Pro Shops who have made the program successful by providing rewards for approved catches. Gift card purchases and other fishing-related prizing are frequently used by winners to catch their next trophy! The larger the bass, the larger the rewards. The three TrophyCatch clubs include Lunker Club (8-9.9 lbs.), Trophy Club (10-12.9 lbs.), and Hall of Fame Club (13+ lbs.). Citizen-science is a cornerstone of TrophyCatch, and data submitted by anglers has been instrumental in guiding FWC conservation efforts and research projects. Notable studies that have each yielded new information include a radio tracking project on Kingsley Lake, tournament cull-clip study, a fish holding study resulting in handling guidelines, bed fishing study, and the very unique Eyeball Challenge (evaluating angler ability to estimate fish size from photos) and Hall of Fame 100 survey (evaluating conditions under which 13-lbs.-plus bass were caught).
The program is now in Season 10, and several milestones have been achieved. Including over 13,000 approved trophy bass, more than 10,000 Lunker Club fish (8-9.9 lbs.) and over 120 Hall of Fame catches 13 lbs. or heavier. Participants have also enjoyed having their catches celebrated on the TrophyCatch Facebook page or even featured in promotional articles! Come join the celebration by submitting your Florida’s trophysized bass!
Anglers interested in keeping in touch should register first (TrophyCatchFlorida.com/ Customer-Register), then like our Facebook page (FaceBook.com/TrophyCatchFlorida) and subscribe to our YouTube channel (YouTube. com/TrophyCatchFlorida) and TrophyCatch newsletter (Public.Govdelivery.com/Accounts/ FLFFWCC/Subscriber/New).